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China Scores Tacit Victory at Southeast Asian Leaders' Meeting

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Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak, from left to right, Myanmar's State Counsellor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi, Thailand's Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha, Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen, Indonesia's President Joko Widodo and Laos Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith join hands as they pose for a 'family photo' at Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders' summit in Manila on April 29, 2017.

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak, from left to right, Myanmar's State Counsellor and Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi, Thailand's Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha, Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen, Indonesia's President Joko Widodo and Laos Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith join hands as they pose for a 'family photo' at Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders' summit in Manila on April 29, 2017.

Photographer: Mohd Rasfan/AFP via Getty Images
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China won approval from Southeast Asian leaders on Saturday at a meeting where U.S. allies in Asia have previously criticized Beijing over its actions in disputed maritime territory.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which has enjoyed an upswing in relations with China for some time, ended a summit in Manila with a statement noting “the improving cooperation between Asean and China” in the South China Sea.